ASEC Annual Business Meeting, October 13, 2022

President Nadieszda Kizenko convened the meeting at 5:10PM CDT.

She opened discussion about when to hold the next (2024) ASEC Conference. Heather Bailey clarified that ASEEES 2024 convenes 11/21-11/24 that year. That discussion was tabled.

Motion to approve 2021 ASEC Business meeting minutes made and approved.

Treasurer’s report (delivered by Eugene Clay in Roy Robson’s absence): As of September 30, ASEC holds $10,089.44 in its checking account. After some additional checks are deposited, it will amount to $10,239.44. ASEC also holds $5 in its savings account as required by the credit union. These sums do not include registration fees for the upcoming 2022 ASEC Conference that are currently being processed by the third-party vendor Eventbrite. ASEC will pay a $45 fee for website maintenance in November 2022. Generally, ASEC’s operating expenses are limited. In recent months ASEC has collected $432 in dues. ASEC checking account returns approximately $0.25 in interest per month.

Article prize discussion: The article prize is normally announced around June 1. President Kizenko plans to announce the next prize at approximately that point next year (2023). Vice President Heather Bailey suggests soliciting readers/volunteers for the prize committee soon. Officers will reach out to Nina Shultz, who has expressed interest in serving on the committee. Pasha inquired about the reasons for the absence of the award 2017-2019. President Kizenko clarified that this was an unintentional result of various issues and other priorities. Eugene Clay clarified that there has never been a book prize and that a combined book/article prize could be considered. President Kizenko added that establishing a formal list of duties related to such prizes would ensure ASEC’s ability to offer such awards on a consistent basis. Pasha suggested keeping wide parameters to attract a range of article and book prize potentials. Then, President Kizenko noted that scholars working on Eastern Christianity have relatively few avenues to be rewarded for their work, as evidenced by the relative absence of religious or Christian topics in major awards in relevant fields over the past several years. VP Bailey and President Kizenko discussed an award committee’s ability to receive PDF or physical copies of nominated books directly from publishers. Pasha noted that ASEC should inform ASEEES and other organizations about this award because they can cross-promote the prize.

Concluding remarks on book/article prize: President Kizenko suggests that for the 2023 prize ASEC should focus on recently published monographs rather than articles because many notable books have been published as of late. ASEC will welcome books published between 2020 and 2023. Eugene Clay suggested offering a monetary prize for the winner(s) because 1) ASEC has the financial capability to do so; 2) it would incentivize more nominations; and, 3) it would reward scholars for their work. Meeting attendees then discussed whether submissions should only include English-language works, as ASEC has done in the past. After due consideration about the merits of expanding the pool but also the limitations of volunteer committee members to deal with non-English publications, it was decided that ASEC would continue to limit submissions to only English-language books. Next, officers and attendees agreed that submissions could include self-nominations. President Kizenko and VP Bailey agreed to exclude their recent monographs from consideration for the prize. To most clearly articulate the guidelines for the prize, ASEC officers will consider ESSA award requirements, provided at this meeting by Pasha, and previous ASEC prize requirements from then-President Clay about the article prize circa 2013 (to be forwarded to officers by President Kizenko following the meeting). Officers will also consider renaming the prize the “Distinguished scholar prize” so that it can serve to reward scholars for monograph publications in some years, and for notable articles in other years. Pasha also noted that any monetary prize should exceed the cost of joining ASEC ($35).

Clarification on 2024 conference: As ASEC’s direct liaison to the Ohio State University, Pasha acceded that OSU may be available for ASEC’s 2024 conference, elucidating the potentialities and possible shortcomings hosting another ASEC conference at OSU. Officers thanked Pasha for her work on the 2022 conference and agreed to consider back-up sites, including Arizona State University, for the 2024 conference, tentatively to be held in spring of that year to avoid overlap with ASEEES conference.

Side notes: Pasha clarified that OSU’s Hilandar collections are not currently available in an open reading room, though some other collections may interest attendees of the 2022 conference.

Newsletter: Alice Sullivan, in the throws of securing tenure, will be contacted about reviving the ASEC newsletter at an appropriate time.

Closing remarks: Pasha will follow up with the Blackwell Inn and Conference Center, host to ASEC 2022, about food for the conference. Officers are finalizing totals for the conference banquet. VP Bailey underscored that ASEC should ensure presenters at the upcoming conference forward their papers to their respective panels by approximately 10/21 to allow for chairs and commentors to prepare remarks ahead of the conference. Officers reaffirmed which participants will attend ASEC 2022 virtually. Movement to adjourn made and approved at 6:10PM.